Karen Bayly

Author and Copywriter

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And now for something completely different...

I had planned to do a Good News, Bad News post, and there was plenty I could have written about. People are still finding extraordinary solutions to dreadful issues. However, the ongoing bushfires and extreme heat conditions in Australia have taken their toll. The emotional response, both positive and negative, has been draining, and I can’t deal with any more “news” at the moment. The sheer amount of disinformation and toxicity, some of it personal, makes my head spin.

Three things I've noted from the experience of the past few months:

  • People can be extraordinarily kind and generous in times of need. Folks from around the world rose to donate money, time, and effort to help Australia. Many lives were saved but many lives were lost.
  • People will believe what suits them, no matter how much evidence to the contrary you present. In many cases, they won’t even listen to the evidence. I trained as a scientist and am by nature skeptical, but if you present me with evidence I will consider it. Even if it doesn’t change my mind completely, it will give me a new way of looking at the issue - or at least send me looking for more information.
  • People don’t want a reasonable solution, they want the solution that supports their beliefs. They want black and white answers in a world where grey answers offer the safest solutions. And the precautionary principle has no chance.

All these just make me want to crawl under the bed covers and cry.

Source: Huffington Post

So moving right along…

I titled this blog “And now for something completely different…” in honour of Monty Python member, Terry Jones, who died this week. (Sorry, I AM a bit of a misery guts at the moment!).

Source: British Comedy Guide

Although not my favourite Python (Eric Idle wins that award), I loved his acting and his portrayal of older women. Yes, I know that these might be stamped as 'not politically correct' but there was a lot of love in those portrayals, especially Brian’s mum in “The Life of Brian”. There’s a lovely tribute to his work here.

My PhD supervisor, Chris Evans, was a Cambridge University man, and he said that the older female characters in Monty Python were based on the formidable Cambridge “bedders”. These were the women who cleaned the dormitories, changed the bed linen - even if you were still in the bed according to him - and who ruled the roost. What he says seems true if you believe this story or this one.

So in the spirit of oddball humour and a need for light heartedness, here’s a very silly story. WARNING: this ends with a really bad pun.

A Modern Fairy Tale

There once was a somewhat mean man named Big Nude-Stockinghood, who was noted for his inventive tattoos, designer sawn-off shotgun, cockroach farm, and the nude-coloured stocking he wore over his head. He robbed banks for a living and no-one said a word to him about it, not even the police. He lived in a run-down house at the end of a street of run-down houses in a town called “Paradise”. If any one living there had understood what irony was, they would have laughed at the name... or at least smirked pronouncedly.

Big Nude-Stockinghood didn’t understand irony. He also didn’t laugh or smirk pronouncedly. In fact, his expressions were somewhat limited by the stocking over his face. To the casual passerby, Big Nude-Stockinghood had only one expression which could best be described as “squashed”. Sometimes the squashiness gravitated upward, sometimes downwards, but whichever way it went, the squashiness remained.

One day Big Nude-Stockinghood met a woman, a beautiful woman who was a genuine femme fatale. Big Nude-Stockinghood was fascinated. He’d seen women before but not like this one. The women he knew were hard, rough, and mean, like the neighbourhood in which they lived. This one was soft, smooth, and sweet, and she smelled of perfume and cookies and secret womanly things. Most of all Big Nude-Stockinghood loved the way she dressed, so feminine, so sexy. All slinky dresses and silken stockings.

Stockings! On her legs! This was a revelation.

She spoke to him of her dreams. She shared her heart with him. It wasn't long before Big Nude-Stockinghood was smitten.

Being around this delightfully delicious woman had a strange effect on Big Nude-Stockinghood. He began to experience the world in a new way. He saw colours more strongly, felt textures more more keenly, and the air seemed more fragrant then he remembered.

More importantly, he began to see himself quite differently. He now knew there was much more to him than the big, tough son-of-a-bitch he presented to the world. To express this new persona, he played with puppies, cuddled kittens, and smiled at small children. But the puppies howled, the kittens hissed and the children ran away. All of them were scared of Big Nude-Stockinghood. They didn’t trust his squashed expression and were terrified he would hurt them.

This upset Big Nude-Stockinghood, and introduced him to two new emotions - fear and doubt. He was seeing his life with fresh eyes and so wanted everything to be perfect. Now he was afraid that his life would stay just as it had been before the liberation of his senses, before the woman of his dreams showed him a glimpse of how wonderful the world could be.

He realised that he could no longer be Big Nude-Stockinghood. He must change completely. He gave up robbing banks, sold his sawn-off shotgun to a travelling preacher, gave his cockroach farm to the Orphans Relief Fund, and undertook extremely expensive laser surgery to remove his tattoos. It all hurt... even for someone as big and strong as he.

There also was the not-so-small matter of his name and the stocking over his head. If he took the stocking off, then he really would have to change his name. He asked the woman if she thought a new name was a good idea. She regarded from underneath her long dark lashes, pouted a little and said: “Honey, in these shoes? I don't think so.” He pondered on her words for a long time, not understanding, afraid he would never understand. He wished with all his heart that an answer would come soon.

One day shortly after he made his wish, he woke up with a song in his heart and a new lightness of being. At last he was certain what it was he wanted to do, and who he wanted to be. He leaped out of bed, ran down to the local department store and bought a pair of silken stockings. He rushed back home, shaved his legs until they were as smooth as a beer bottle, then carefully put on the stockings, one leg at a time, revelling in the exquisite new sensations he was experiencing.

Ever since then Big Bertha Sexy Legs has graced the stages of drag shows everywhere. She is hometown queen of “Paradise” and loved by puppies, kittens, and small children alike.  An avid supporter of all charities and especially of the “not quite sure where we fit in society” ones, she ran an auction last November where three stockings from her famous solo drag queen show “Run Lola’s Stockings, Run” were sold for a record amount.

Proceeds were divided amongst “Running For Premature Babies” (after all, the poor little things can hardly run for themselves), Movember (Big Bertha had a soft spot for any man with a moustache), plus little Freddy Singh and his experimental cat, Shiva, to help both attend the inaugural Genetically Enhanced Feline Cat Show in Goa (in the interest of improving intercultural relationships and promoting happy call centres).

Big Bertha’s charity auction proved the power of silk stockings. It was one for the running, two for the mo, three to get Freddy to the Goa Cat Show.

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